My Rotaract journey: learning I could speak in public

Taiwo Okunlola is installed as president of the Rotaract Club of Surulere South, Lagos, Nigeria

by Taiwo ‘Orbs’ Okunlola, Rotaract Club of Surulere South, Lagos, Nigeria

I grew up in a community where young children were not supposed to speak. That was something reserved for elders. If I forgot these community rules, I could sometimes expect a knock on the head or a hard twist of my ear from a disciplinarian. As a result, I had a reluctance to speak out – almost a trauma around speaking –  that followed me into university and lecture halls.

The effect was so pronounced that I would honestly have preferred the ground to open up and swallow me then to have had to speak in public.

Continue reading

Finding purpose in Rotaract

Project AIDS Aware helps people living with HIV in Nigeria

Three women label packets at a table
Members of the Rotaract Club of Medilag Golden, Lagos State, Nigeria distribute HIV self-testing kits and information.

By Princewill Onyekah, Rotaract Club of Medilag Golden, Lagos State, Nigeria

As a member of Rotaract, I’ve had the opportunity to make meaningful impacts in my community. I applied to join my club when I was entering medical school in 2018.

One of the first things I learned as a Rotaractor was The Four-Way Test, which is an integral part of Rotary. This test involves evaluating the things we say or do based on four criteria: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned? By adhering to these principles, Rotaractors strive to make ethical and responsible decisions that positively impact their communities.

Continue reading

Taking the global stage in Ghana

Several Rotaract members raise their hands in the air while waiting for the performance at the Global Citizen Live event.
Rotaract members at the Global Citizen Live event in Accra, Ghana.

By Tetteh Kojo Boampong Adesa, charter president, Rotaract Club of Accra-Airport

I would never have thought I would get so much enjoyment out of a concert and be so exhilarated to be part of leading the charge for global change. Before the Global Citizen Live concert in Accra, Ghana, 24 September, Rotary International President Jennifer Jones, who was in our country visiting Rotary clubs and projects, encouraged all Rotaract members to be a part of the buildup to this big event by creating excitement. Our charge was to step on the world stage and join with artists and leaders around the world in creating awareness for the need to protect our planet and end extreme poverty.

Continue reading

Global Citizen Festival excites passion for service in Ghana

Rotaractors took part in the Global Citizen Festival in Ghana
Ernest Afun of the Rotary Club of Accra East and Chinazo Asunwa of the Rotary Club of Accra Legon East during the Global Citizen Festival in Accra, Ghana.

By Julian Andoh, president of the Rotaract Club of Accra-La East, Ghana

I was standing at the Black Star Square, a large public space in Accra, watching a global change movement happen right before my eyes. And the best part? It was a concert.

It all started when I was scrolling through social media and came across a flyer for a concert in Accra. I wondered what organization could get all these artists to come to Ghana to hold a concert this big. A quick Google search gave me the answer: Global Citizen, an action platform dedicated to rallying people around critical issues of climate change, poverty, and inequality.

Continue reading

5 interesting people I met at the 2022 Rotary Convention

By Jeris Gaston, Rotary Club of Birmingham, Alabama, USA

A Rotary convention is a time to reflect upon the past year, look forward to the year ahead, and connect with friends, old and new, from around the globe. But it’s also a celebration of all things Rotary. The people gathered together are what make this event special. Being together again, in person, after a two-year hiatus made the 2022 Rotary International Convention in Houston even more sweet. A big part of convention is meeting people. So in that spirit, I want to introduce you to five interesting Rotarians I met in Houston:

Continue reading